It’s been a while since I attempted a portrait in oils, so that’s what I decided to do today.
The subject is my dad and I worked from a photo that I had already used for a successful charcoal portrait.
I am aware that my painting style is very ‘tight’, so I wanted this oil sketch to be a no-pressure exercise to loosen up.
It was a classic case of using a large brush to do the underpainting (using diluted ultramarine blue, burnt umber and burnt sienna) then progressively refining the image with smaller brushes and more vivid colours.
I did keep the brush size larger than I would normally use to try to avoid ‘fiddling’ and getting bogged down in detail.
As is often the case, I got somewhat lost mid-way through and my tones are a bit clunky and crude. The finished portrait is far from perfect (I could have spent more time finessing it) but it was a worthwhile exercise.